Grocery Shopping on a Tight Budget and Meal Plans for the Week

For at least the past year, maybe a little longer, we have been able to still eat well with a limited grocery budget.  I decided that I would post our meal plans for the following week and show what we were able to get on this week's grocery budget.  Here we go!

Friday's are generally our meal planning and grocery shopping days.  We looked over what we were running low on, added those items to the list, and then decided what we were wanting for dinners for the next week (Saturday - Thursday).  Here's the meals that we will be having:

  1. Chicken Nuggets and Hand-cut Oven Fries (recipes from The Kitchen Wife.  Click on the links for Mandee's recipes.)
  2. Meatballs in Marinara (another recipe from Mandee) and Spaghetti
  3. Steaks and baked potatoe (for me)/fries (for Jon and Michael)
  4. Chicken Enchiladas with chips & salsa
  5. Hamburgers with Mac & Cheese

Yes, there are only five nights worth of meals.  One night will be left over night and Fridays are generally our eat out nights.

When we have some extra money with our grocery budget, we tend to buy more meat that we actually need for that week.  We love our up-right freezer and would like to have it stocked with meat at all times.  So, we didn't need the chicken or the steaks.  That helped keep us in our budget of $40.  We also already had an enchilada kit (yeah, not going home made with that meal, but it's still rather tasty), the tortilla chips, spaghetti noodles, and Kraft Mac & Cheese.

Getting our groceries generally requires us to go to two stores, Walmart and Wegmans.  We used to go to Walmart for everything, but have found that Wegmans has a much larger range in their produce and mostly the same prices or cheaper.  Walmart still has cheaper prices on bread, so we go there for our loaves and buns.  When we were at Wegmans, Jon had his cellphone on the calculator app and we started adding up the items that were on the list.  One thing I would like to mention about Wegmans is that you can not only weigh your produce, but it will tell you how much it will cost and you have the option of printing out the label for the items.  Makes things a lot easier when checking out and also when you're calculating what the cost is going to be.

We spent $2.42 at Walmart for hamburger and hotdog buns (still had some hotdogs, but no buns).  At Wegmans we spent a total of $36.77.  Making the grand total being $39.19!  We had no coupons on this trip and tried to go with the cheaper items if possible.  Once we got home, I used my Ibotta app (I'll do a post on Ibotta at a later time) and earned $0.50 for the milk that we purchased!

Hope this helps with some yummy dinner ideas when you're on a tight budget.  Come back next week to see what the meal plans will be and how well we kept within the budget that week.
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  1. Walmart also has the option of weighing and printing the price off too ! Just look for the scale that has it !

  2. That's cool! I haven't seen that at our's yet. I find it very helpful when you're working with a limited amount of money.